Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee slammed the Centre for including Gujarati as a medium of instruction in the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) Main, the first filter for selecting students for BTech courses in IITs

While saying that the decision is “not praiseworthy” and shows that “maligning all regional languages is the intention of the government” Miss Banerjee demanded inclusion of Bengali and all regional languages as the medium for the exam.

In 2013, the UPA government had tried to make the JEE-Main the only entrance test for admission to all engineering colleges. States like Gujarat and Maharashtra stopped their state-level entrance tests and adopted the JEE-Main. To help students of these states, the CBSE added Urdu, Marathi and Gujarati in 2014 as medium of examination apart from Hindi and English.

In 2016, the CBSE dropped Urdu and Marathi but continued with Gujarati. Presently, the exam is conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA) and the question papers are in English, Hindi and Gujarati.

Miss Banerjee today took to Twitter to condemn the move. In a series of tweets she said, “Our country is India, which is home to so many religions, cultures, languages, creeds and communities. However, maligning all regions and regional languages is the intention of the government at the Centre.

“Joint Entrance Exams so long were conducted in English and Hindi languages. Surprisingly, now only Gujarati language has been added. Such a step is not at all praiseworthy,” she added.